Electromagnetic fingerprinting of UAVs for enhanced monitoring and security

Project Summary 

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are revolutionising in a number of positive ways our daily lives. For example, they provide efficient and expedient delivery of vital medical supplies, enhance surveying practices and the collection of sensing data and imaging. However, the possibility of malicious use of UAVs is, unfortunately, a reality. The recent disruption of commercial aviation in UK airports is an example of how UAVs can be used to disrupt major transport infrastructure. Using detailed full-wave electromagnetic numerical simulation you will work to estimate and fingerprint UAVs and understand their electromagnetic signatures to support the development of suitable radar sensors and processing software to be able to detect and track such UAVs. You will contribute by adapting gprMax, an Open Source modelling tool, for the specific task of obtaining and studying the radar cross-section of UAVs.

Project Team and where the student will be based

The student will be based within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh and will be under the supervision of Dr Antonios Giannopoulos from the Institute of Infrastructure and Environment at the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh and of Dr Julien Le Kernec from the James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow.


  • Academic qualifications – A First Class or 2:1 undergraduate degree, preferably in Electrical or Electronic Engineering, Physics or Applied Mathematics but other candidates with a general Engineering or Science background can be considered if they have relative experience.
  • Experience – A final year undergraduate project or an MSc that is related to computational electromagnetics or radar will be preferable but not an essential requirement.
  • Skills/Attributes – Interest in computation and programming and in the numerical simulation preferably of wave-type problems.


Enquiries about this project should be directed to Dr Antonios GiannopoulosA.Giannopoulos@ed.ac.uk.